Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Army of Islam
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||30 April 2014|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 - Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Army of Islam, 30 April 2014, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5362299514.html [accessed 27 June 2017]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
aka Jaysh al-Islam; Jaish al-Islam
Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on May 19, 2011, the Army of Islam (AOI) is a Gaza-based terrorist organization founded in late 2005 responsible for numerous terrorist acts against the Governments of Israel and Egypt, as well as American, British, and New Zealander citizens. Led by Mumtaz Dughmush, AOI primarily operates in Gaza. It subscribes to a violent extremist Salafist ideology together with the traditional model of armed Palestinian resistance. AOI has previously worked with Hamas and is attempting to develop closer al-Qa'ida contacts.
Activities: AOI's terrorist acts include a number of rocket attacks on Israel, the 2006 kidnapping of two journalists in Gaza (an American and a New Zealander), and the 2007 kidnapping of a British citizen in Gaza. AOI is also responsible for early 2009 attacks on Egyptian civilians in Cairo and Heliopolis, Egypt, and allegedly planned the January 1, 2011 Alexandria attack on a Coptic Christian church that killed 25 and wounded 100. On July 28, 2012, AOI released a statement that one of its members, Nidal al 'Ashi, was killed fighting in Syria and in November 2012 announced that they had carried out rocket attacks on Israel in a joint operation with the Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem. In August 2013, an Israeli official reported that AOI leader Dughmush was running training camps in Gaza.
Strength: Membership is estimated in the low hundreds.
Location/Area of Operation: Gaza, with attacks in Egypt and Israel.
Funding and External Aid: AOI receives the bulk of its funding from a variety of criminal activities in Gaza.